If you have not read The Book Thief I encourage you to do so before the movie starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson and Sophie Nélisse is released in November. This is a well-loved book by adults and teens alike, winning a slew of awards, mostly in the Young Adult category, and selling at least a million copies. It has spent 272 weeks on the NY Times best sellers list for children’s paperback books. Watch the Movie Trailer below.
Zusak, an Australian author, has said that writing the book was inspired by two real-life events related to him by his German parents: the bombing of Munich, and a teenage boy offering bread to an emaciated Jew being marched through the streets, ending with both the boy and the Jewish prisoner being whipped by a soldier. It is, however, the way in which Zusak combines such terrible events with such believable characters and the minutiae of everyday life in Nazi Germany that makes this book so special. A number one New York Times bestseller, The Book Thief has been marketed as an older children’s book in some countries and as an adult novel in others. It could and – dare I say? – should certainly be read by both. Unsettling, thought-provoking, life-affirming, triumphant and tragic, this is a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told. It is an important piece of work, but also a wonderful page-turner. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Philip Ardagh The Guardian